Monthly Archives: October 2009

Self insight (or not …)

I like reading Bob Sutton’s blog, he often links to books and writings I never would have known about if not for him.  This week, he wrote about Professor David Dunning from Cornell University, who’s done some really interesting research (along with various colleagues) on self-awareness.

Some interesting insights from the Professor’s new book “Self-Insight: Roadblocks and Detours on the Path to Knowing Thyself. ” include:”people do a pretty bad job of guessing their IQ scores, are downright awful at rating their […]

The systems approach to a children’s party

The guys at Cognitive Edge seem to be on a roll with all the video’s they’re creating!  The latest one to be released is of Dave Snowden retelling one of the very first (and best) analogies I heard him use to explain the difference between ordered and unordered approaches.


By |October 28th, 2009|Systems|0 Comments|

SenseMaker introduction video

We utilise a software suite, SenseMakerTM, when working on projects that involve huge amounts of narrative as well as when a client needs to maximise their own decision-making capability in the face of a complex problem.

SenseMakerTM is developed by Cognitive Edge, and Dave and the gang have released this useful video introduing the software.

The danger of a single story

This TEDGlobal video is one of the most poignant talks I’ve ever viewed. It is by Chimamanda Adichie, an African novelist, who shares some experiences of how encountering a single story of a person, people or country framed the way she viewed them.

Her point is that being exposed to a single story is very dangerous, and that we’ve got to open ourselves up to “balanced stories” in order to really get a grasp on the world around us.
If you want to dispossess […]

By |October 20th, 2009|Narrative, Story|0 Comments|

Conversation agents

With all credit to Sonja on this one, we’re toying with the idea of changing our title’s and job descriptions within The Narrative Lab.

For a loooong time, we have been uncomfortable with describing ourselves as “consultants”. While it may be true that we’re consultative in our way of putting together projects of an emergent nature for our clients, we are certainly not consultants of the traditional fold.

And so, we’ve been grappling with a title that brings together the blend […]

By |October 19th, 2009|Culture|0 Comments|

The fun theory

Now how much more effective is this than a couple of posters on the wall and powerpoint presentations on improving your health by climbing the stairs …

Goes to show, when it comes to changing behaviour, we need to think outside the box!


The hardcore nature of stories: significance

One of the indelible lessons I picked up from my training as a narrative therapist is that words are important. If words aresignifiers (that is, they give meaning) then the very same words represent a gateway through which we catch a glimpse of how a person views themselves, the world around them: their reality.

And so, the stories we tell about ourselves and the experiences we have in this world are significant … more significant than you can imagine: they are the gateways […]

Narrative & Constellations

I noticed on Ron Donaldson’s blog, The Ecology of Knowledge, that he had participated in a very interesting process – one that combined the use of traditional storytelling and constellationsto find novel solutions to intractable problems.

I know a fair amount about the realms of storytelling and intractable problems, but know absolutely nothing about the use of constellations.

One could do a massive google search to find out more, but for now, I’m more interested in what the network has to say about constellations?

Any takers?
constellations, narrative, techniques

By |October 6th, 2009|Narrative|0 Comments|

Mirrors with memory

Aristotle said: “The greatest thing by far is to have mastered the metaphor.” And the Spanish philosopher and writer Jose Ortega y Gasset added, “The metaphor is probably the most fertile power possessed by man.”

Metaphors are bridges connecting the new and the familiar.  They help a skeptical audience embrace and value a new idea or concept.  Why is that important?  This past week we’ve been in several meetings where we discussed the use of narrative in change management.  In essence […]

Allan Grey: “Legend”

This is one of the best examples of the use of narrative in advertising that I’ve seen in a long time …


By |October 2nd, 2009|Narrative|0 Comments|